Last Updated: 27 September, 2020
I have to admit that I’ve felt sluggish over the last few months and found it difficult to get going. I’ve looked at this from several different angles such as having the wrong tasks or working at the wrong times of day, but I’ve been missing the obvious; I’m lacking good quality sleep.
Adequate sleep is crucial to proper brain function – no less so than air, water, and food …Any amount of sleep deprivation will diminish mental performance The human brain
I’ve know for several years that getting more sleep would make me feel happier, but I suspect I’m now getting less than previously because I get so absorbed in the book I’m reading I forget to put it down (sometimes for hours).
After just one night without sleep, concentration becomes more difficult and attention span shortens considerably. With continued lack of sufficient sleep, the part of the brain that controls language, memory, planning and sense of time is severely affected, practically shutting down. In fact, 17 hours of sustained wakefulness leads to a decrease in performance equivalent to a blood alcohol level of 0.05% (two glasses of wine). This is the legal drink driving limit in the UK. BBC Science
I read I can make you sleep a six months ago and found it effective, so I think it maybe time to start implementing some of the suggested actions again; no television or computer an hour before going to bed, no reading in bed and no caffeine after 2pm.
So why do I keep ignoring that I require sleep? I don’t know. However, I can say I am not alone in ignoring things that essential for life; for instance, how often do you think about water availability? Probably not very often because you are used to turning on a tap and water appearing, but water really is essential for life; without it you are unlikely to live longer than 5 days.
The human body is anywhere from 55% to 78% water depending on body size. To function properly, the body requires between one and seven liters of water per day to avoid dehydration. Wikipedia
The problem is only 3% of the Earth’s water is fresh water and the majority of that is tied up in glaciers and ice caps (see the distribution of Earth’s water). The amount of water on Earth doesn’t vary much, but the human population has increase dramatically; doubling between 1927 and 1974. This means there are more people accessing the same volume of water.
The UK has less available water per person than most other European countries. London is drier than Istanbul, and the South East of England has less water available per person than the Sudan and Syria. Waterwise
My job involves advising businesses on water efficiency and encouraging them to invest in water efficiency technology and it can be difficult to get them to consider their water. I believe there are two main reasons; water is not yet high on the media’s agenda and water is cheap. In the UK, there is no market driven price, in fact the price is agreed for five years at a time, and many households pay for their water based on the size of the house instead of how much they use.
So, if the financial cost is low, it is important to show the value of water in other ways. How about thinking of the impact if water was not available? For a business water is essential; for instance it is used for cleaning, as an ingredient and cooling as well as usual domestic purposes. A business can’t exist without water, and with restricted water it can only do restricted business – either way it has an impact on available products and jobs. With less water for irrigation, food production is likely to be reduced or crops changed to once that require less water. Plus at home there will need to be a reduction of water usage such as showers and car washing. However you look at it, there will be a significant impact on society.
Just like sleep, water is essential for life and it is only through action that a difference will be made. I’m going to take action to increase my sleep, but if we all take action to use water efficiently we will make a difference globally.
- Water map shows billions at risk of ‘water insecurity’
- Hidden Waters: Embedded Water & Our True Consumption
- Rippleffect free water efficiency support for English businesses, sign up closes today 15th October 2010